UPCOMING EVENT: T-H Marine BFL - 2019 - Potomac River

FISHING LEAGUE WORLDWIDE

Merrill leads FLW Walleye Tour Championship on Leech Lake

Merrill leads FLW Walleye Tour Championship on Leech Lake
Pro Kevin Merrill (right) and co-angler Matt Hiller caught five walleyes Wednesday weighing 16 pounds, 5 ounces.

WALKER, Minn. - Pro Kevin Merrill of Pierre, S.D., and co-angler Matt Hiller of Grand Rapids, Mich., brought in five walleyes weighing 16 pounds, 5 ounces Wednesday to lead day one of the FLW Walleye Tour Championship on Leech Lake. The pair now holds a 2-pound, 4-ounce lead over their closest rivals in the championship featuring 40 pros and 40 co-anglers representing 12 states and Canada fishing for top awards of up to $40,000 in the Pro Division and $12,000 in the Co-angler Division.

"What a day," said Merrill, who said he had a steady bite all morning until around noon. "I really struggled in practice and hit a spot yesterday morning and picked up some bites where they chewed up the bait pretty good and that is where I went this morning and it worked out pretty good. I probably only caught 10 fish during practice and no over's [26 inches or larger]."

Merrill was one of only a handful of anglers to bring in any over's and he had two. "We caught our fish today near the launch, so hopefully if the weather is bad that will be a good thing and we won't have to make a long run tomorrow," continued Merrill. "The weather could play a large factor tomorrow. I will try and catch my five tomorrow, but I may not get my over's, but I think there are enough under's [14-18 inches] that we can get our limit."

Rounding out the remainder of the top-10 pros and co-anglers after day one are:

2nd: Brian Brosdahl, Max, Minn., and Tim Depooter, Rock Island, Ill., five walleyes, 14-1

2nd: Terrence Filkins, Lake City, Minn., and Darrell Martin, Forest Lake, Minn., four walleyes, 14-1

4th: Pat Byle, Colgate, Wis., and Bryan Bayerkohler, Eagan, Minn., five walleyes, 13-14

5th: Scott Steil, Richmond, Minn., and Jason Anderson, West Fargo, N.D., five walleyes, 13-6

6th: Dean Arnoldussen, Appleton, Wis., and Cal Van Cleve, Wilmot, S.D., five walleyes, 13-3

7th: Bill Shimota, Lonsdale, Minn., and John Spiegel, Appleton, Wis., five walleyes, 10-13

8th: Nick Fautsch, Maddock, N.D., and Tim McClaran, Mansfield, Ohio, five walleyes, 10-9

9th: Chris Gilman, Chisago City, Minn., and Kyle Schuchard, Essex, Ont., five walleyes, 10-4

10th: Don Loch, Iron Mountain, Mich., and Jerry Chwierut, Lake Villa, Ill., three walleyes, 9-6

Overall there were 140 fish weighing 260 pounds, 1 ounce caught by 38 boats Wednesday. The catch included 17 five-fish limits.

In FLW Walleye Tour competition, pros and co-anglers are randomly paired each day and fish for a combined boat weight.

Anglers will take off from Walker City Park located on Minnesota Ave. in Walker at 7:30 each morning. Thursday's weigh-in will also be held at the marina beginning at 4 p.m. Friday and Saturday's weigh-ins will be held at the Northern Lights Casino, host of the championship, located at 6800 Y Frontage Rd. N.W. in Walker beginning at 4 p.m.

About FLW Outdoors

FLW Outdoors, named after Forrest L. Wood, the legendary founder of Ranger Boats, is the largest fishing tournament organization in the world offering anglers worldwide the opportunity to compete for millions over the course of 189 tournaments in 2010. FLW Outdoors has also taken fishing mainstream with FLW Fantasy Fishing awarding the largest prizes in the history of fantasy sports. FLW Outdoors memberships are available featuring numerous benefits including Player's Advantage. For more information about FLW Outdoors and its tournaments, visit FLWOutdoors.com or call (270) 252-1000. For more information about FLW Fantasy Fishing, visit FantasyFishing.com.

Tags: press-release  2010-09-22-leech-lake 

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